January 22, 2017
Winter-Spring Newsletter 2017
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January 22, 2017
Without saying a word, a classroom sends a message to the students about relationship building, communication, and the roles of teachers and students. The first message to my students is that they are in a safe and empathetic environment. Our atmosphere is designed to foster growth in social-emotional and academic areas allowing students to take chances, make mistakes, and practice being brave on a daily basis. We have seniors in our room and they will transition to new and exciting opportunities. We strive to teach them to be independent while becoming intrinsically motivated. We focus on developing social skills and critical thinking through daily structured and spontaneous discussions around relevant current events. To meet individual needs, we create independent learning opportunities based on students’ interests to blend with our online curriculum. I am incredibly proud to be their teacher and a member of the Felicity team.
Jan. 22, 2017
With a focus on Character Education, our students have developed incredibly positive relationships as we work on our academic tasks. Debating and analyzing situations and scenarios helps us truly dissect moral and ethical choices we make on a daily basis. This is reflected in the classroom created ‘Golden Rule’ stressing respect, generosity, honesty, and kindness. It is heartwarming to observe the bonding taking place before our eyes and caring and tolerance in action on a daily basis. Behaviors now match our posters, quotes and pictures throughout the room. Part of our charge is realized with our experiential work for others. We participated in the US 99’s Drive to send 10,000 cards to our soldiers with holiday wishes, pictures, and jokes for our soldiers abroad, and we will soon revisit Feed My Starving Children and volunteer at Northern Food Bank.
January 22, 2017
While students are busy earning credits, more important “life lessons” dominate the class. Exploring the true cost of owning a car led one student to discover that a fully loaded Subaru WRX STI was not a practical choice, albeit an exciting vehicle! This year 80% of my class is employed part-time for businesses including Starbucks, Walmart, a local park district, and Dunkin Donuts, learning ‘real time’ about managing finances, the value of hard work, customer service, and dedication. We encourage students to find balance between school, work, family and friends. We are also constantly exploring the strengths of individuals and how these positives help overcome challenges. Many mornings begin with an opportunity to reflect and journal on a quote, while other days, we explore real life obstacles students face in their quest to contribute to society and become independent. Topics are discussed in groups allowing for questioning and exploration. I am excited that students support each other and provide input from their unique experiences. I am happy to report that we are staying true to our mission of ‘developing the mind and elevating the spirit’ on a daily basis.
Art Therapy and the Exploration of Identity
Jan. 22, 2017
Felicity School, in partnership with the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, offers weekly therapy for students with our very first Art Therapy Intern, Andi Freberg. Andi is completing her Master’s in Art Therapy and joins us three days a week providing both group and individual sessions. Andi’s skill and background in special education and visual arts, make her an invaluable addition to our team and our students. In
sessions, students use art to self-discover, express, and communicate in ways beyond verbal processing, using diverse media such as drawing, painting, collage, sculpture, murals, and textiles. This winter, the SAIC sponsored The Art of Connection exhibition at the Sullivan Galleries in Chicago to showcase the work of the interns’ clients. Andi worked with students and staff to prepare individual pieces to be featured in the gallery. Students and staff were asked to embellish a paper-Mache box to represent how they feel perceived (the outside of the box) and how they perceive themselves (the inside of the box). According to Andi, “the creative process coupled with the art product aims to encourage empathy amongst peers and staff as well as initiate conversations and the exploration of identity.”
The Art of Connection recently opened with hundreds of artists, students, and SAIC faculty, attending the event! Our student work was featured alongside that of art therapy clients from a variety of settings. The exhibition was a powerful display of the ways in which art can deepen therapeutic work and allow for self-expression and exploration of life experiences that can be difficult to capture in words. Felicity students visited the gallery to see their work displayed. Thank you to Andi and our staff and students for engaging with this new service and for participating in The Art of Connection!
ISBE Rules For Private Schools
National Profile SPED research
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Felicity School is designed to serve students who are eligible for special education services in the categories of Emotional Disability (ED), Learning Disability (LD), and Other Health Impaired (OHI).
Felicity School is a non-traditional, school environment with open and flexible spaces that ameliorates some of the negative feelings that students might associate with a more traditional school setting. Our student to staff ratio is a maximum of 10 students working with 2 staff members (one certified teacher and one paraprofessional). Related Services staff are available as directed by each student’s Individual Education Plan.
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158 S. Waukegan Rd.
Deerfield, IL 60015